Nithep Seminar: Prof J.Hey: On the possible existence of elements of atomic number greater than 1/α: some thoughts on the Periodic Table after 150 years

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Nithep Seminar: Prof J.Hey: On the possible existence of elements of atomic number greater than 1/α: some thoughts on the Periodic Table after 150 years

August 2 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Abstract: With the recent completion of the 7th period under the 18th group of the
noble gases, the Periodic Table has arrived at an ‘historic landmark’ 150 years after
the publication of Dmitri Mendeleev’s original version. The intriguing question
arises as to whether the Table will be extended as far as, or even beyond, an 8th
period, a matter about which scientific opinion is divided. Nuclear research into the
production of super-heavy elements through heavy ion collisions has been
motivated, in part, by the belief in the existence of an elusive “Island of Stability” ,
which would offer vast, untapped possibilities in harnessing new materials. This
question takes us beyond the physical principles which underpin our understanding
of the lighter elements: the quantum mechanical and quantum statistical properties
of electrons, nuclear binding, and the tunnelling of nucleons through potential
barriers. With the heavier elements, the relativistic quantum mechanics of Paul
Dirac, the subtleties of quantum field theory, and the considerable challenges
presented by the theory of many-particle nuclear stability, will all play a significant
part in deciding whether stability is attainable beyond the short-lived artificial
elements which are the most recent members.

Details

Date:
August 2
Time:
11:00 am - 12:00 pm